Phoenix Events June 24 to 26: Arizona Craft Rave, Miss Gay AZ, Pool Party | Phoenix New Times


9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Weekend

New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26. For more events, see our curated calendar.  "Breach: Log 16" During an artist residency aboard a restored 1840s whaling vessel in Mystic, Connecticut, Courtney M. Leonard made an intriguing discovery – the...
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New Times picks the best things to do in metro Phoenix from Friday, June 24, to Sunday, June 26. For more events, see our curated calendar

"Breach: Log 16"
During an artist residency aboard a restored 1840s whaling vessel in Mystic, Connecticut, Courtney M. Leonard made an intriguing discovery – the fact that rigging sails and coiling clay involve similar hand movements.

The insight infuses her “Breach: Log 16” exhibition, which uses ceramics, video, and other media to explore the availability of water, and the sustainability of culture and tradition.

They’re issues reflecting the artist’s roots in the Shinnecock Nation of Long Island, New York – and the evolving history of the American Southwest.

Explore Leonard’s intriguing works referencing whale teeth, scrimshaw, and traditional fishing baskets at the ASU Ceramics Research Center, located at 699 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Museum admission is free. Visit Lynn Trimble

Arizona Craft Rave
Arizona Craft Rave is a night out that feels a little like a crafting night in — if that night in featured woodburning, dance breaks, and plenty of wine.

Ten local artists each teach a project to novices and hobbyists during this handmade how-to marathon. New crafters may benefit from sessions on body scrubs with Sloane Burwell or woven necklaces by Woven by Ro, but there’s something for all skill levels, including embroidery with Mariette Market, an intro to woodburning course from Lexie Bowers of Iron Root, and matchbox shrine tutorials from the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano-Murillo.

The craft-a-thon runs from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 24, at Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 West Camelback Road. Admission times are every 90 minutes, and attendees may re-enter. Entrance fee is $5 and tickets (one per project) are $5 each. Visit or call 602-274-0067 for complete lineup and tickets. Janessa Hilliard 

New Grand Fridays
With respect to the numerous cities that occupy the Valley, there’s only one where a hip-hop show feels truly authentic, where a DJ can spin records without feeling the slightest bit disingenuous: Phoenix. After all, the DJ and MC alike are urban artisans at heart. And while the dough may flow in the ‘burbs, spinning records for trust-funded neophytes does little to bolster the Valley’s collective street cred. Enter New Grand Fridays at downtown’s ThirdSpace, 1028 Grand Avenue. The eclectic venue's weekly event is an open invitation to partake in the city’s urban arts community while celebrating local DJs, hip-hop artists, and featured out-of-towners. Check it out for free on Friday, June 24, at 9 p.m. Visit or call 602-258-1536 for details. Rob Kroehler

Summer Solstice Swimsuit Ride
There’s something truly special about a group of grown adults biking around in swimsuits and spraying each other with plastic water guns. For the seventh year running, Tempe Bike Action Group (TBAG) is hosting its annual summer solstice swimsuit ride, complete with fountains, pools, and sprinklers. The ride begins at Tempe Beach Park, 54 West Rio Salado Parkway, and then winds through Tempe with plenty of opportunities to stay cool. There’s also a full-on water balloon fight near the end of the ride — so bring your game face.

TBAG’s Summer Solstice Swimsuit Ride VII kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. For more information, visit Katrina Montgomery

ASU Young Alumni Pool Party
Attention Arizona State Sun Devils: Don’t ever say it doesn’t pay to go to ASU. You can at least get a free-ish pool party out of it – along with DJs, drinks, and private ASU alumni cabanas.

ASU Young Alumni chapter is hosting its eighth annual ASU Young Alumni Summer Pool Party at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 East Indian Bend Road in Scottsdale. The party runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, to overlap with the Release Pool Party series. This 21-and-over event is $20 in advance and $25 the day of.

To hit the deck at ASU Young Alumni pool party, register at the event page at, and be sure to check in at the registration table during the event between sips and dips. Visit for more details. Lauren Cusimano

Diana Gabaldon & Theresa Carle-Sanders
It’s said that Scottish cuisine is based on a dare. You can find out if that’s true when you try the dishes from Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Cookbook.

Inspired by the hit TV show and time-travel fantasy series, chef Theresa Carle-Sanders offers a bevy of recipes that would be perfect for Jaimie and Claire’s table. And we’re not just talking haggis and other sheep-related treats. Try such inspired dishes as Tattie Scones or Claire’s Tortellini Portofino, the perfect dish for Hogmanay.

Carle-Sanders will join Outlander author Diana Gabaldon for a special signing on Saturday, June 25, at the Doubletree Resort, 5401 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Tickets are $40, and include a copy of The Outlander Kitchen signed by both. No additional autographs are allowed, but free professional photographs will be available. Call the Poisoned Pen, 480-947-2974, or visit for more information. Michael Senft

Miss Gay Arizona America 2016
If the theme “Sparkling Diamonds: A Night at the Moulin Rouge” appeals to your love of all things glittery and fierce, then move the Miss Gay Arizona America 2016 pageant to the top of your must-attend list.

Now in its 31st year, this event catapults the winner into Miss Gay America, the first and longest running female impersonator pageant, which began in 1972. Ten contestants compete in five categories, including the male interview, where they flaunt their masculine side. The opening number embraces this year’s theme, and features current and former contestants, along with guest of honor, Nevaeh McKenzie — Miss Gay Arizona America 2015. Have fun ogling stunning gowns, from self-designed to labels like Vera Wang and Versace, when the shimmery contest starts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe. Admission is $22.50. Call 480-350-2822 or visit Amy Young

Free Summer Sunday 
Gallery-goers flocked to Jeff Slim’s recent solo exhibition at monOrchid in Roosevelt Row, where they saw mixed-media works blending Native tradition with pop culture. But now Slim (Diné), recipient of the New Times’ 2015 Big Brain Award in visual art, is going next level – doing artist demonstrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at the Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue.

Admission is free that day, when the museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. At 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., museum-goers can experience the art and athleticism of musician and former world hoop-dance champion Tony Duncan (Apache/Hidatsa/Arikara/Mandan).Visit Lynn Trimble

The Seeds: Pushin' Too Hard
For the front man of a a rock band, Sky Saxon makes for a much cooler name than Richie Marsh.

The late Utah-born musician thought so too, and switched to the alliterative, cooler-sounding moniker in 1962. A few years later, he answered an ad that brought together now-legendary psychedelic garage rockers The Seeds, who had hits with “Pushin’ Too Hard” and “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine.” Director Neil Norman presents The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, his documentary that explores the band’s history, which was loaded with ups and downs. A Q&A with the director follows the musical flick that starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 at FilmBar, 815 North Second Street. Admission to the 18-and-over event is $12. Call 602-595-9187 or visit Amy Young

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